bluff

Bluff can mean a high cliff, or it can describe a person who is abrupt in manner. The most common usage of bluff is as a verb meaning to pretend. If you bluff at cards, you are pretending to have a better hand than you do.

Many a good crime story ends with a bluff—"I've already contacted the police and they're on their way," the detective will say when that is not at all the case. The expression "calling your bluff" comes from poker, where you "call" a game to see someone's actual cards. Calling someone's bluff means forcing them to admit the truth.

Primary Meanings of bluff

1.
nadj
a high steep bank (usually formed by river erosion)
very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front
2.
vn
deceive an opponent by a bold bet on an inferior hand with the result that the opponent withdraws a winning hand
the act of bluffing in poker; deception by a false show of confidence in the strength of your cards
Full Definitions of bluff
1

n a high steep bank (usually formed by river erosion)

Type of:
bank
a long ridge or pile

adj very steep; having a prominent and almost vertical front

“a bluff headland”
Synonyms:
bold, sheer
steep
having a sharp inclination

adj bluntly direct and outspoken but good-natured

“a bluff but pleasant manner”
“a bluff and rugged natural leader”
Synonyms:
direct
straightforward in means or manner or behavior or language or action
2

v deceive an opponent by a bold bet on an inferior hand with the result that the opponent withdraws a winning hand

Synonyms:
bluff out
Type of:
go, move
have a turn; make one's move in a game

v frighten someone by pretending to be stronger than one really is

Type of:
affright, fright, frighten, scare
cause fear in

n the act of bluffing in poker; deception by a false show of confidence in the strength of your cards

Synonyms:
four flush
Type of:
deceit, deception, dissembling, dissimulation
the act of deceiving

n pretense that your position is stronger than it really is

“his bluff succeeded in getting him accepted”
Type of:
dissembling, feigning, pretence, pretense
pretending with intention to deceive

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